Monday, April 9, 2012

Double Chocolate Brownie

Dessert: Double chocolate brownie
Venue: Starbucks
Price: $3-ish?

Brownies are an awkward dessert. Maybe it’s appropriate to say they are the hybrid of cookies and cakes. They are usually served with chocolates or nuts embedded in their surface, but unlike cookies, they have that spongy texture that resembles a cake’s. However, unlike cakes, brownies lack the rich icing and cream. Brownies never interested me… until one hot afternoon, when I decided to try that lonely piece of double chocolate brownie in Starbucks.

Its description read 410 calories. That was quite a major turn off, but I decided to take the plunge and purchase something I wasn’t crazy about.

The pretty barista packed it in a paper bag for me, and I took my first fudge brownie back to my apartment and laid it on a plate. The contrast was evident; a dark square block of chocolate against a dainty white plate laced with printed blue peonies.

I eyed the brownie, wondering if I would have the appetite to finish the entire block of it once I started. I would hate to force myself to finish it, and throwing it away would be a waste. It didn’t exactly look appealing: just an ordinary brown slab with rectangular chunks of chocolate nestled in. The cracked surface of the brownie strangely portrayed the creviced roads of a post-earthquake site.

It stared back at me, waiting, seducing me with its rich chocolate texture. Since chocolate and I share a loyal and passionate relationship, I decided to give this brownie the benefit of the doubt.

Lowering my fork into the brown mass, I watched small brown particles tumble onto the plate, creating a speckled muddle at the foot of the dessert. I lifted a small chunk of the brownie to my lips, unaware that any second now, my evening was about to change.

The light, buttery taste of the brownie surprised me. A second later, my taste buds detected the dark chocolate. It wasn’t extremely sweet, nor was it bitter. It was a perfect balance of sweet and buttery. Its dense and moist structure melted away on my tongue. I reached for a second mouthful, then a third, until I had eaten three-fourths of the brownie. As I chewed, the sweet sensation of chocolate exploded in my mouth, leaving a luscious aftertaste of chocolate and imaginary cocoa. 

With each bite, I reminded myself to savor the moment, because a fraction of the taste was disappearing with each second.

I finished the rest of the brownie over the next couple of minutes, enjoying the spongy texture until all that was left on the plate were brownie crumbs and grease marks. The taste of chocolate lingered in my mouth and I yearned for more. I had just gone down a path I’d not explored, and the journey was so tantalizing that I wasn’t ready for it to end.

This brownie scored a place in my heart. It had earned its reputation from a cookie-cake hybrid to the best brownie I’d ever tasted.

Photographed and written by Carissa Gan.

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